2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Saskatchewan farmers win dispute over hay

On March 15, 2002, Ralph and Beverly Austin sold their farm land and assigned a land lease to the defendant, 101013354 Saskatchewan Ltd.  Lyla Cowan is the sole officer and shareholder of 101013354 Saskatchewan Ltd.  The sale included buildings, some sheds and bushel bins located on the land.  The purchase price was allocated amongst the land sold, the buildings, sheds and bushel bins and leasehold improvements on the leased lands.  This agreement for the sale of land and assignment of lease was in writing and signed by the parties on March 12, 2002.

Prior to March 15, 2002, the Austins had a stack of bales located on the land.  In March 2002, the Austins agreed to sell the bales to Cowan and she agreed to pay them for the hay.

Prior to possession date the Austins came to a verbal agreement in the farm yard with Lyla Cowan to sell her the 182 alfalfa hay bales at $120.00 per ton, 83 slough hay bales at $100.00 per ton and 30 straw hay bales at $20.00 per ton located on the land.  The total purchase price was $21,800.00.  They sent Lyla Cowan a bill of sale for the bales in the sum of $21,800.00 about a year later on March 10, 2003, as they did not want to receive any income from the bales in the taxation year 2002.  Lyla Cowan paid the plaintiffs the sum of $10,000.00 on August 3, 2003.  No other payments have been received.

The Austins sued Cowan in the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan for the balance of the purchase price they claimed was still owing.  The judge found in favour of the Austins, and awarded $9,360 plus costs of $250.  This was slightly less than what had been claimed by the Austins because the judge did not find that there had been a "meeting of the minds" between the parties as to the weight of the bales sold.  The judge ruled the weight per bale to be somewhat less than the Austins had estimated.

Read the decision at: Austin v. Cowan.